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The iRig Pro Duo makes managing advanced audio workflows simple anywhere

Connecting audio interfaces to the various mobile and computing devices we use these days can be a confusing headache. The iRig Pro Duo, which IK Multimedia announced this year at CES and recently released, is a great way to simplify those connections while giving you all the flexibility you need to record high-quality audio anywhere, with any device.

The basics

The iRig Pro Duo is a new addition to IK’s lineup based on the original iRig Pro, which adds a second XLR input, as the name implies. It’s still quite small and portable, fitting roughly in your hand, with built-in power optionally supplied via two AA batteries, while you can also power it via USB connection, or with an optional dedicated plug-in power adapter accessory.

Compared to desktop devices like the Scarlett Focusrite 2i2 USB audio interface that’s a popular standard among home audio enthusiasts, the iRig Pro Duo is downright tiny. It’s still beefier than the iRig Pro, of course, but it’s a perfect addition to a mobile podcaster’s kit for ultimately portability while also maintaining all the features and capabilities you need.

The iRig Pro Duo also includes balanced L/R 1/4″ output, built-in 48v phantom power for passive Macs, a 3.5mm stereo jack for direct monitoring, 2x MIDI inputs and dedicated gain control with simple LED indicators for 48V power status and to indicate audio input peaking.

Design

Beveled edges and a slightly rounded rectangular box design might not win the iRig Pro Duo any accolades from the haute design community, but it’s a very practical form factor for this type of device. Inputs go in one side, and output comes out the other. IK Multimedia employs a unique connector for its output cables, but provides every one you could need in the box for connecting to Mac, iOS, Windows and Android devices.

The whole thing is wrapped in a matte, slightly rubberized outside surface that feels grippy and durable, while also looking good in an understated way that suits its purpose as a facilitation device. The knobs are large and easy to turn with fine-grained control, and there are pads on the underside of the Duo to help it stick a bit better to a surface like a table or countertop.

The lighting system is pretty effective when it comes to a shorthand for what’s on and working with your system, but this is one area where it might be nice to have a more comprehensive on-device audio levels display, for instance. Still, it does the job, and since you’ll likely be working with some kind of digital audio workflow software whenever you’re using it that will have a much more detailed visualizer, it’s not really that much of an issue.

Bottom line

As mentioned, iRig Pro Duo works with virtually all platforms out of the box, and has physical connector cables to ensure it can connect to just about every one as well. IK Multimedia also supplies free DAW software and effects, for all platforms – though you do have to make a choice about which one you’re most interested in since it’s limited to one piece of software per customer.

If you’re looking for a simple, painless and versatile way to either set up a way to lay down some music, or to record a solo or interview podcast, this is an option that ticks essentially all the boxes you could come up with.

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Don’t expect to see Windows 10X dual-screen devices this year

With Windows 10X, Microsoft introduced a new version of its flagship operating system last October that was specifically designed for dual-screen devices. The original plan was to launch the first set of Windows 10X dual-screen devices before the 2020 holidays and in February of this year, it announced a slew of tools to help developers get ready for this new form factor. Today, it announced that it is pivoting Windows 10X away from dual-screen devices for the time being. And that means we likely won’t see any dual-screen Windows devices anytime soon.

In a blog post today, Microsoft’s Windows and devices chief Panos Panay said that the company has made this decision because at this time, it wants to focus on what it’s customers need right now and to “focus on meeting customers where they are now.” While Panay doesn’t quite spell it out in his blog post, the idea here is clearly that given the unprecedented environment during the coronavirus pandemic, Microsoft doesn’t want to emphasize new form factors but put its efforts behind improving its existing tools and services.

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“With Windows 10X, we designed for flexibility, and that flexibility has enabled us to pivot our focus toward single-screen Windows 10X devices that leverage the power of the cloud to help our customers work, learn and play in new ways,” Panay writes. “These single-screen devices will be the first expression of Windows 10X that we deliver to our customers, and we will continue to look for the right moment, in conjunction with our OEM partners, to bring dual-screen devices to market.”

A single-screen Windows 10X device sounds a lot like a regular laptop, 2-in-1 or tablet. Microsoft declined to define what these first Windows 10X devices will look like and only told us that there’s “more to come.” We’ll be here when that happens.

In his post today, Panay also stressed that the company wants to accelerate innovation in Windows 10 “to ensure that Windows devices are the best way to work, learn and play.” He didn’t share any further details of what exactly that means.

What Panay did say, though, is that Microsoft users now spend 4 trillion minutes a month on Windows 10. That’s an increase of 75 percent year-over-year.

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